Wisconsin, Minnesota split at Border Battle
By Rick Weegman
Team Minnesota rallied from a double-digit halftime deficit to win the boys game and Superior’s Hailey Kontny led the Wisconsin girls to victories in the sixth annual Border Battle All-Star Games Wednesday night at Ralph Romano Gymnasium on the University of Minnesota Duluth campus.
Kontny scored 19 points as the Wisconsin girls defeated Minnesota 78-76.
In the boys game, Mora guard Sam Johnson scored 27 points, made six 3-pointers and tipped in a missed shot to force overtime as Minnesota defeated Wisconsin 120-115 in double overtime.
Esko seniors Kory Deadrick and Casey Staniger, who led the Eskomos to their first Class AA state title this year, had 19 points and 15, respectively, and Division I recruit Alex Illikainen of Grand Rapids added 17.
Bayfield guard Donald Gordon III scored a team-high 27 points on nine 3-pointers for Wisconsin and was named winner of the Mike Gerber Most Valuable Player Award in honor of the late Duluth Area Youth Basketball Association chairman. Ashland’s Thomas Whiting added 18 points and five 3-pointers as Wisconsin made 23 long-range shots.
Also for Wisconsin, Superior’s Carter Anderson and Solon Springs’ Daniel Gengenbach both finished with six points.
Also for Minnesota, Esko seniors Kory Deadrick and Casey Staniger, who led the Eskomos to their first Class AA state title this year, had 19 points and 15, respectively, and Division I recruit Alex Illikainen of Grand Rapids added 17.
In the girls game, a total of 72 free throws were attempted, including 50 by the Wisconsin All-Stars.
Besides Kontny’s 19 points, Wisconsin got 15 points from Eau Claire Memorial’s Lauren Novak added 15.
North Woods senior Darby Youngstrom, who concluded her career as Northeastern Minnesota’s all-time leading scorer with more than 2,800 points, led the Minnesota team with 22 and was named MVP.
Barnum’s Daron Mainville added 13 points and hit the tying shot at the buzzer to send the game into overtime.
Wisconsin All-Stars — Britnee Zuck 3, Haley Seifert 3, Mallie Doucette 10, Meg Elias 4, Kayla Hanley 5, Lauren Novak 15, Afton Kuehndorf 11, Hailey Kontny 19, Janice Anderson 1, Breanna Steen 6. Totals 19 29-50 78.
3-point goals — Novak 2, Kuehndorf 2, Seifert, Doucette, Hanley.
Minnesota All-Stars — Allie Knuti 2, Mia Anderson 10, Daron Mainville 13, Abby Hawkinson 7, Emily Neumann 3, Sarah Overbye 2, Darby Youngstrom 22, Destinie Villebrun 7, Hannah Johnson 6, Lexi Hill 4. Totals 28 17-22 76.
3-point goals — Youngstrom 2, Anderson, Villebrun.
Wisconsin All-Stars — Luke Stanley 4, Luke Murphy 16, Carter Anderson 6, Daniel Gengenbach 6, Joe Stark 9, Josh Weix 6, Mitchell Reinthaler 8, Donald Gordon III 27, Thomas Whiting 18, Brandyn Christman 13. Totals 41 10-19 115.
3-point goals — Gordon 9, Whiting 5, Stark 3, Reinthaler 2, Christman 2, Murphy, Anderson.
Minnesota All-Stars — Trevontae Brown 12, Tyler Jerkovich 6, Sam Johnson 27, Casey Staniger 15, Alex Illikainen 17, Kory Deadrick 19, Kole Zuidmulder 11, Adam Laine 12. Totals 47 9-11 120.
3-point goals — Johnson 6, Deadrick 5, Brown, Jerkovich, Staniger, Illikainen.